Socialist Worker


Afghanistan: They dare call this liberation

"In the villages around Kandahar there is a name that provokes horror and fear. It is not Taliban leader Mullah Omar, nor is it Osama Bin Laden. It is Gul Agha, the former Mujahadeen governor of Kandahar, whose tribal militia is backed and advised by the US."

Labour's benefits disaster

Behind the three month long all-out strike by Benefits Agency and job centre workers lies the crisis which has been created by New Labour's draconian benefits system.

Enron-from free market hero to zero

Shock waves rocked the key institutions of global capitalism last weekend. The crash of US-based energy multinational Enron is one of the biggest ever corporate collapses in the history of capitalism.

Can the US be beaten?

The scenes of hundreds of dead Taliban soldiers outside the fortress in Mazar-e-Sharif last week showed the brutality of US power. US warplanes bombed the fortress, killing around 400. Then the US allies in the Northern Alliance scavenged from the dead bodies.

Council workers: Carers show they'll fight

The day started at 6.30am for most of the 350 or so homecare workers, organisers and clerks who are employed by Rochdale council. Picket lines throughout the borough were manned before the full light of day on Tuesday of last week.

West Ferry Print Workers

Workers who print many of Britain's national newspaper titles voted last week to ballot on strikes against job cuts and a pay freeze. It is the first such vote in the national newspaper printing industry since the great defeat of the print unions at Wapping in the 1980s.


Three council by-elections in Burnley during the last two weeks have seen the Nazi BNP build on its general election performance but not yet break through to win a seat. In the latest election in Rosehill ward on Thursday of last week the BNP grabbed 230 votes (19 percent).

Against the war

Over 150 people packed out the debate on the war in Afghanistan organised by the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) Stop the War group last week. Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee and writer on the Independent David Aaronovitch presented their pro-war position.

In brief: Compulsory? Catastrophe!

Members of NATFHE, the university and college lecturers' union, were due to strike at Middlesex University in north London on Wednesday of this week over compulsory redundancies.


Workers at the Scottish Environment Protection Agency are voting in a consultative ballot over attacks on pay and conditions.

Abdi Dorre

Around 200 people marched in Northampton recently to demand justice for Abdi Dorre.

Colombia solidarity

Protests are planned this weekend and on Monday in solidarity with the fight against Plan Colombia, the US-backed war in the South American country aimed at smashing resistance to neo-liberal economic policies.

Scottish Power: Strike to beat power bosses

Workers at the huge multinational firm Scottish Power began a two-day strike on Tuesday of this week.


Caledonian Macbrayne (CalMac) ferry crews on the Clyde are planning an indefinite strike from Monday. The action would affect CalMac's services from Ardrossan, Gourock and Wemyss Bay.

Council housing - Dudley Victory

Council tenants in Dudley were celebrating this week beating off their Labour council's attempt to privatise their homes. A ballot of tenants in the West Midlands council saw privatisation rejected by 56.2 percent to 43.8 percent, with 70 percent of all eligible tenants voting. This was despite the council's expensive glossy pro-privatisation campaign, and then springing the ballot on people at short notice.

South West Trains

Rail Workers on South West Trains are voting in two strike ballots-over pay and the treatment of union officials. Over 2,000 RMT union members are taking part with the result expected on 17 December.


More than 200 tugboat workers have voted to strike as part of a campaign for better pensions. Members of the TGWU union based in London, Southampton, Liverpool and Felixstowe have backed industrial action.

US backs Israel's murderous assault

Ariel Sharon unleashed the full force of the Israeli state against the Palestinian people on Monday of this week. The war criminal who is prime minister of Israel was given the green light for his bloody assault by US president George W Bush. "Israel has a right to defend itself and the president understands that," said Bush's official spokesperson.

Bush's Afghan killing fields - Now he's after Iraq

'I lost my daughter two days ago. The Americans bombed our home in Kandahar and the roof fell in. Her name was Muzlifa. She was two. Then there was my other daughter. Her name was Farigha. She was three. There wasn't much left of my son. When the roof hit him he was turned to meat and all I could see were bones. His name was Sherif. He was a year and a half old.'Shukria Gul speaking to journalist Robert Fisk last week

Fuelling their allies' attacks

On Monday Associated Press correspondent Ellen Nickmeyer reported from the northern town of Kunduz on the scenes that accompanied its capture by Northern Alliance forces:

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